sound with his Tele—he called it the “little
Chinese tone.” You can hear this sound on
a number of famous Ricky Nelson recordings, like “Travelin’ Man.”
So let’s heat up the soldering iron and do
it, guys! In order to achieve this sound (and
to go back to a regular sound), we use a
phase reversal switch [see figure 1].
Wiring a phase switch is fairly simple:
unsolder the two pickup leads; solder
the phase switch “out” leads (HOT and
ground) to the exact same spot where the
pickup leads were; and solder the pickup
leads to the “From Pickup” terminals on
the phase switch as shown below. Mount
the switch, close up the guitar and start
enjoying the new sound you’ve just created! You can also use a push/pull pot for
this [see figure 1].
One word about wiring diagrams: we will
need a lot of them in our future columns
and Mr. Duncan himself was kind enough
to give me permission to use his diagrams
The reason I wanted to use his diagrams is
not because I’m too lazy to draw my own—
it’s because of two reasons: first, it’s arguable that Seymour Duncan set the worldwide standard for replacement pickups, so
it’s only fair (as a kind of tribute to him and
his work) to use the only original source
and give the credit where it belongs.
Second, his drawings are very well done
and easy to understand, even for modding
novices, so why try to reinvent the wheel?
So, thanks again to Seymour Duncan and
Evan Skopp for their help.
I hope you enjoy this fun, new tonal option.
It’s fairly easy to install and should give you
a nice range of sounds to experiment with.
Next month, I will show you how to route
your Strat pickups for a new and individual
configuration of the tone and volume pots.
We will start with the anatomy of the 5-way
pickup selector switch. But until then...
keep on modding!